Some people have a hard time being alone. They constantly feel the need to always have people around them in everything they do. But it’s important to recognize the value in spending time with yourself. This can be pretty difficult considering human beings were designed to have relationships with other people. The connection and communication we share with others is one of life’s greatest joys.
People get this idea that there is something wrong with you or you’re a loner when you do things alone. But that just isn’t true. Learning how to enjoy your own company is the beginning of having personal joy and satisfaction. When you can enjoy your own company, your energy and ability to attract positive things in your life is so great. People around you can see that you don’t need to ‘cling’ to others in order to find personal happiness or being content. Taking time to get t know yourself gives you an understanding of your desires without following what others say.
If you’ve never taken the opportunity to spend time alone here are a few suggestions of what you can do to take the leap and spend time all by your lonesome.
1. Travel Alone
Travelling is one of the ways we expose ourselves to different experiences. Often we do this in groups or with a close friend or special someone. Have you ever tried travelling by yourself? It doesn’t have to be some big adventure across the world. It can be as simple as taking a weekend out-of-town and staying in a hotel taking in the sights of a new city or town. I’ve done it so many times and I must say it can be a little awkward at first, but then you realize that it’s actually a lot of fun learning about what you like and don’t like. It gives you a chance to experience things without the opinions of other people. You can do whatever you want without compromising on your trip.
Just think about it. If you don’t want to go to that art gallery everyone is talking about, you don’t have to feel like your being dragged there because of your travel buddy. Do what you want. When you want. Discover on your own. Take a journal with you to document your experience. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
2. Go see a movie.
Believe me, the first time I did this I felt really strange. Seeing all the couples, groups of friends and families who were out getting popcorn, food and grabbing seats together. The especially awkward moment came when someone wanted to sit down and assumed someone must be sitting in the seat beside me. “Is this seat taken?” the person asked with a hesitant tone. I felt embarrassed at first, but then just said “No, it’s not.” I realized that going to see a movie by myself was really not that big a deal. Nobody really cares. People are not looking at you as much as you might think when you’re alone at the theatre. What really drove me to see a movie alone was that I was tired of waiting for friends to see it with. Trying to collaborate schedules all the time can be a challenge. It happened so many times and the next thing I’d know, the movie was out of the theatre. I didn’t want to miss another film again. Now when I want to see a movie, regardless of who is free or not, I just go alone.
3. Treat yourself to dinner.
Now this one is a really hard one for most people. You’re not in the dark like in the theatre, or lumped into a tour group when travelling. Instead you’re at a table for 2 and it’s just you. When the wait staff comes to ask if you’re waiting for someone before ordering, you can swallow your pride and say “No, it’s just me,” with a smile. Take your time, peruse the menu and once you get your meal, savour every bite. Get a seat near the window so you can people watch while you eat. See the sights of what’s happening around you. Or just observe the atmosphere where you are. Bring a book, magazine, tablet. Whatever you do, just enjoy your own company.
4. Go shopping alone.
Many women love to go shopping with their friends. Especially to get their opinions on some of the items they’re purchasing. For me, I evolved through my life into preferring to shop alone. Sorry friends, but when women want to go shopping with me, it’s usually the last thing I want to do. I prefer shopping alone. I can get things done so much faster. I know what I want, I know what fits and I can make my own judgement on what I like and don’t like without the opinion of others.
Try shopping alone and see what happens. It teaches you how to form a better opinion on your own, without judgement. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the advice of friends on items. I do enjoy shopping with my friends for more of the social aspect and having a good time with them. But at the end of the day, I’ve had so many missed purchases because I questioned if I liked it or not when someone was shopping with me. I make better choices alone and take less time. If I’m on a mission to really shop, I’m better off doing it alone.
Try it and see if you agree.
5. Pray or meditate.
When you’re alone it’s so easy to be distracted with our fast-paced lifestyles. Mobile devices, television, social media are all things that can cause us to continue to feed off the ‘outside’ forces that make us feel less ‘alone’. When you have time by yourself, take advantage of the opportunity to be at peace and pray or meditate. It will give you a sense of balance, connection and peace. So many people who have learned to control the stresses in their lives do this every day. If you’re just starting take a few minutes. Close your eyes and just enjoy the serenity.